3 Big Questions to Consider for Your Media Room Setup
The Answers Will Lead to Your Perfect Media Room
If you’re embarking on a media room setup in Mendham, NJ, you have a lot of things to think about. Before you get bogged down in equipment choices and various other details, Bravo AV believes a structured approach to thinking about your media space will ultimately yield the room that is right for you.
We think these are the “big picture” questions to answer about your media room setup and in this blog, we’ll dive deeper. The questions deal with the kind of sound quality you want, the image quality you prefer, and how important the design and aesthetics of your space are to you. Some people place a priority on all three, while some have clear priorities on what matters most to them. Once you start down this path, the choices for your media room become clearer.
Without further ado, let’s discuss these critical questions in more detail.
1. What level of picture quality do you require?
There are many choices for video displays and projectors for media rooms. Some are better choices than others depending on what you prefer to watch. Here are some of the questions that will guide your thinking:
- Do you watch many films?
- Are you a stickler for very accurate color rendering?
- Do you always want to watch your content in the best possible resolution – like 4K and above?
- How often do you watch cable TV in your media room? How about streaming video?
- Will anyone play video games in the media room?
- Do you watch a lot of sports?
As you answer and prioritize these questions, your thinking will be guided towards what type of display, its size, and other features that will fulfill your needs. Based on your answers to the questions above and your goals for the media space, you should consider the level of image quality you want.
Video Performance Requirements Guide:
- Excellent (image nearly film quality; accurate rendering of colors and hues; excellent black level and contrast performance)
- Very Good (image quality still above average; color rendering and motion performance is still good but does not take priority over décor; capable of displaying 4K TV images well albeit with minor reductions to absolute quality)
- Adequate (picture quality is less important than aesthetic criteria)
2. What are your preferences for sound quality?
Audio quality is often more subjective than video quality. It may depend on many factors, but what you listen to, at what volumes, and how complicated it is to get the sound quality you prefer all play a role. Here are some questions in this area to consider:
- Will you listen to music in this room? If so, will you sit for critical listening or more casual background music?
- What type of music do you most often listen to?
- What music sources do you prefer? For example, do you listen to vinyl records, CDs, or mostly streaming music?
- Do you like action movies? Do you revel in the sound effects of the action, and the boom of the bass in explosions?
- Do you like audio equipment where you can adjust settings to your liking, or prefer a one-button solution where everything is done automatically for you?
- Is audio quality subordinate to style and aesthetics?
Some audio systems are better at multichannel film soundtracks than they are with music. It is possible to get excellent quality for both; it all depends on your preferences and how much you want to spend in this area, as well as aesthetics. Here again, it’s always about getting to know your priorities. Based on you answers above and your goals consider the following:
Audio Performance Requirements Guide:
- Excellent (suitable for critical music listening; near-studio quality)
- Very Good (good for film soundtracks; OK for music but not suitable for critical listening)
- Adequate (quality is subordinate to aesthetic criteria)
How do you like your room to look?
Your priorities around how your room should look - and how it flows with the rest of your home - can dictate many choices. Here are some questions to consider:
- What quality level do you demand in your media room’s design and furnishings?
- High – everything is top quality
- Medium-High – the high-visibility parts need to be of excellent fit and finish, but some areas that are not as noticeable don't need to be
- Adequate – you care more about audio and video quality than the aesthetics of the room
- What do you like about your current space that serves as your media room? Beyond what you like about it, how would you improve it?
- Is there an existing room feature that needs to be considered, like a fireplace? How would you like to incorporate it?
- How big is the room? How many people would you like to accommodate?
- How much ambient light is in the room and how is it controlled? Do you want automated shades?
- How are your lights controlled? Do you want automated lighting control?
Thinking critically about these questions will guide you down the path toward outfitting your dream media room. If you are considering a new or upgraded media room setup in New Jersey, Bravo AV is your local expert. Get in touch with us by filling out our contact form or chatting live with us below. We look forward to hearing from you!
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Bravo AV is proud to be an HTA (Home Technology Association) Certified Installation Firm and professional A/V experts. Tom Curnin, the owner of Bravo AV, is a CEDIA Professional Designer, a certified THX Level 1 home theater professional, and a member of the Home Acoustic Alliance trained to Level II.